“The real teacher is the one who is interested in musical literacy, not in having a kid move his fingers from one place to another. I’m sure you could teach a chimpanzee to do that. There’s a big difference between an educator and a manipulator.” – Elvina Truman Pearce
The first years of music lessons are the most critical, as they form the foundation of future progress. The basic learning and playing habits are formed during these years, and determine the success of future studies.
Unlike a computer, the human brain does not have a “delete” key, or an “uninstall/re-install” option. Habits acquired in the early stages are deeply rooted in a child’s mind and muscles and very difficult to change in later years.
Unfortunately, sometimes the critical importance of these early developmental years are underestimated, and the quest for good quality teaching is delayed until the senior years. However, by the time the child is deemed deserving of a “good teacher”, the bad habits are so deeply rooted in them and the loopholes of their musical knowledge so important, that both student and teacher are pretty much condemned to struggle through the senior years of music study, without attaining the student’s full potential.
Struggle is never a joy. In fact, the drop-out rate is much higher among students who have weak foundations, whereas the chances of enjoying music, specially at the senior level, increase when the student has had a good start!